Seize the Leadership Moment

Leading in the Present MomentWhat lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Leadership happens today. This is the moment of leadership – the here and now. It’s really the only time you have to make an impact.

Leadership doesn’t happen yesterday. The past is fixed history, the back-story of how you and everyone else got here. It’s only important for how it formed the people and circumstances you face in the present moment. Focus too much on the past and you’ll miss the present–and the chance to lead.

Will your past not leave you alone? Have you screwed up, gotten off track? You don’t have to “get back on track.” That track is gone. A new one starts right where your feet are. Get your bearings and take a step. It starts here and now.

Leadership doesn’t happen tomorrow. The future is just a series of unwritten chapters or sequels. It’s critical to have a vision to work toward, but if you spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on what will happen some day, you’ll miss what’s happening right now. The present moment is where the future is made, that’s where you can influence the things to come.

Are you so fixated on what you want in the future that you’re missing out on today? Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of daydreaming (just ask my wife), but not at the expense of missing the here and now. To build a bridge to a better tomorrow, you’ve got to start with today.

How will you seize the Leadership Moment today?

3 thoughts on “Seize the Leadership Moment”

  1. May I confess something?

    As a Strategizer and Contextualizer, I find myself agreeing with your post, but with some pretty vivid, YES BUTs thrown in!

    For instance, I find there still is a track and you’re standing on it. If that track isn’t going where you want it to and you haven’t embraced the reasons, you’re doomed. You’ll think you’re starting all over and you’re not. You’re stuck in a hamster wheel.

    My experience is that far too few leaders understand how they or the group they lead got to where they are and therefore undermine all their efforts to get them where they need to be.

    On the other hand, I personally–as a Contextualizer–OFTEN fall into the trap you describe here. And I need to live more in the moment.

    It’s just that I don’t think most leaders fall into the same imbalance I do.

    1. Charles, I agree with you. I’m not suggesting that one should ignore the past or the future—by no means! As I said, the past created the present and the future is drawing us forward. We need to understand them both.

      However, the only time we have to act, speak, be and lead is right now. This is the point where we can make a real difference. If we miss it—for whatever reason—it’s gone forever.

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